Sunday, September 6, 2015

UAE Visa Renewal and Car Selling Red Tape

Latest Visa Renewal Process in Al Ain - 2020

Go to SEHA Immigrant Screening Centre opposite Al Ain Hospital.
Hours: 7 am till 3 pm, Sun - Thu

You have three choices:
  • Go with the enormous crowd gathered under the palm trees...
  • Take the Fast Track - limited numbers - be there early
  • VIP service

VIP Medical Service

  • Go in the main front entrance and go upstairs. 
  • Walk through the Fast Track men's waiting room to the VIP waiting section.  
  • There is a tiny little VIP sign above the door.
  • There will be almost nobody, so the service is immediate.
  • You'll be done in about 20 minutes.
  • You need: Passport and passport copies (first 4 pages plus visa)
  • Cost: Dh500 (that is why there is almost nobody, but it is worth it)
  • In before 10h00, get results by 2 pm the same day (someone else may pick up with the receipt)
  • You need to get a blood test (no fasting) and a chest X-ray
  • They will send you a SMS when they are done around 1 pm - be there at 2 pm.
More info here:

Typing Office - Emirates ID

  • There is a Typing Office (Registry shop) to the East of Jimmy Mall, also in the Municipal building.
  • Renew your Emirates ID for Dh370
  • You will get another SMS if it worked in a few minutes
  • Take the form to the Emirates ID building and have it stamped at reception - they don't even check it.

New Visa

  • Now your employer has 10 days to get you a new visa, after which you can collect you new ID at the Post Office.
  • You have to give your employer your medical report, stamped Emirates ID form (Emiratis love stamps), a copy of your medical insurance card, four photos and your passport, and hope you get it back... 


Selling Your Old/Cheap Car - 2020

Most expats buy a cheap car, since they don't know how long they will stay in the UAE.  I ended up staying 11 years, but all good things eventually comes to an end and then you sit with one or two cars, that you don't quite know what to do with.  Some people abandon their car at the airport and fly off, but that will result in a 3000 Dirham fine that will hit you next time you fly through Dubai - so don't do that.

If you happen to live in Al Ain and you want to get your old/cheap car sold with the least amount of hassle, give Munaver Jaman a call at 055 499 4045.

The big difference is that he will come to you.

The only thing you need to do is go to the traffic police and tell them you want to sell your car and sign the transfer form.

After that, Munaver does everything between the seller, buyer and traffic police, online with his phone (some police confirmation codes are exchanged between everyone's smart phones to make it work) and he charges the buyer a small fee for the whole rigmarole.

So I can recommend this guy, he is quiet and sharp and knows what he is doing.

Closing Your Etisalat Accounts

Dealing with Etisalat (like any telecom company the world over!) is a total nightmare.  The only thing worse, is trying to call Revenue Canada from overseas.  Etisalat has numerous kiosks/shops in every major town, with a large crowd of people patiently waiting outside.  There is a ticket system, but you need to get in first, to get the ticket...
You can call them (101 for voice response, or 800 6665 for a real agent), but then you end up in an interminable queue with boring music on hold.  The queue can time out after an hour or two while you are on hold, so then you have to start all over again.  Whichever way you do it, it will be a day in your life that will never be refunded.

So, as with all telecom companies, the lesson is to never, never, never, set up automatic bill payment.  It is better to pay the bill manually every month, or better yet, pre-pay.  That way, when you want to leave, you can just leave and don't have to cancel anything - they will eventually figure out that the account is inactive - maybe.

Closing Your Bank Account

Your bank will have a minimum balance indicated in your terms of service.  For FAB, the minimum is 3000 Dirhams.  When the account reaches zero, the bank will automatically close the account.

So there are two ways to go about it:
  • Use your smartphone and transfer everything you can to your home country, but then Dh3000 ($817) would likely end up as a gift to the bank - ouch...
  • Go to the bank and wait in line to talk to an agent, transfer every last drop and close the account.

It will help if you don't have a credit card, or any automatic bill payments, otherwise you may lose another day of your life.

La voila!


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